A Scottish MEP has said that unless progress is made on compliance with the ban on partial sow stalls and tethers, he will push for guarantees to ensure retailers only source pork from farms that do meet the higher standards.
George Lyon, who is a coordinator of the agriculture and rural development committee, was speaking after a “constructive” European retailer summit in Brussels, which discussed how retailers intend to approach potential supply problems caused by the directive, which comes into effect on 1 January 2013.
A report earlier this summer by British pig industry bosses said production across Europe may fall by as much as 10%, and that nine of the 27 member states still had not confirmed whether they would be compliant by the end of the year.
Lyon said that European retailers were just as concerned as members of the pig industry and MEPs about the impact of the legislation, and were keen to avoid the problems caused by changes to the directives on laying-hens.
He said: “The Parliament and the Commission are committed to ensuring we do not repeat the same mistakes.
“With less than four months until the ban comes into force both retailers and the industry must redouble their efforts to help producers comply with the legislation.
“If progress cannot be made towards total compliance, then I will seek guarantees that retailers will only source legally produced pork from farms that meet the new higher welfare standards demanded by the EU.
“I look forward to further discussion on this issue in the weeks ahead.”
Representatives from Asda, Tesco, Lidl, Westfleisch, QS Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH, and Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) attended the summit.